Experiencing Tulum for the second time, four years later, was beyond wonderful. This travel guide is by far one of my favorites to date. Many familiar memories while cruising down the jungle’s treelined street, but also so many new gems to soak up. It has evolved so much from what I remember, more charming than ever. The highlight of the trip for me was the immense amount of inspiration I found just about anywhere I looked. The lush and verdant greenery everywhere in all my favorite forms (monstera, birds of paradise, palms, melon mint smoothie…you get the idea.), the rustic flare, vintage rugs, the twinkle lights strung, the views, the food! Tulum is my beachside spirit animal– pulls all my design loving heartstrings every time.
We flew down on Thursday morning for our friend’s wedding, which took place on Saturday. I took advantage of adventuring in-between wedding festivities; nosing through cocktail menus on the beach, marveling over the discerning design details, and coating myself in bug spray along the way. MUST pack bug spray. We got so lucky with the weather considering September is thunderstorm season, not one rainstorm hit and it was so so quiet like I remember. We got all sun, all day long and the most stunning sunsets to close each evening.
A few tips when traveling to Tulum. In my opinion, 4-5 nights is plenty! Tulum is a two-mile stretch of boutique hotels along the ocean with restaurants peppered in throughout. On the jungle side of the narrow palm-tented street, you’ll find the best restaurants, shops, gelato and juice stands, and more. I prefer beach vacations to start with breakfast and beachside action, but around lunch, I like to be on the go. Margarita and taco hopping, and taking in the unique scenery at each destination. Walking is totally doable, but biking (which most hotels provide) is a little more enjoyable with the heat. My top recommendations below:
Where to Stay
Be Tulum | You just gotta. Having stayed here in 2013 and seeing its incredible transformation this week…it’s hands down the best. When I come back in the future, this is where I will be checking in. It’s definitely three dollar signs, but 100% worth it. One thing to note with Tulum is that quality air conditioning and wifi are tougher to come by. Be Tulum has been around for a long time now, has grown exponentially and quite frankly, they have their shit together. From the aesthetic to the rooms, to the quality and service, it’s the holy grail of Tulum experiences. I’m also so picky when it comes to where I stay. Feeling as at home and comfortable is important to me when traveling, so this is what I collected from visiting this trip.
Sanara | We had breakfast and dinner at The Real Coconut at Sanara and just based on passing by the rooms and seeing the quality, I would check this place out, too! It’s absolutely stunning.
Food + Drinks
Posada Margherita | We came here the first night (comfort food is a fantastic idea after a long day of traveling) for pasta and cocktails. The veggie pasta was by far the best and I loved the Ciao Bella cocktail. They bring over a hefty dose of foccacia as well, the tomato and garlic focaccia was the crowd pleaser! I would also come here during the afternoon to soak in the ocean views and cool off with a beverage– their cocktails were impeccable.
Maresias at BE Tulum | Everything at BE gets claps from me! We sat seaside for lunch and ordered the chips and guacamole, fish tacos, and a couple of cocktails. By far one of the best meals we had in Tulum. I ordered the Sr. Romero (a cucumber cocktail the size of my head) and it was my favorite of the trip.
Gitano | The entryway that draws you in and leaves you marveling over the setting and keeps you content in your seat with delicious cocktails. We all made our way over after Posada Margherita the first night and it was such a great spot for a big group.
Casa Jaguar | This spot was high up on my list to try and it simply blew me away. We nosied through before it was open (a photographers jackpot… you shall see below…) and it quickly became a favorite, yes, even before experiencing the menu. Which by the way, is so. good. Matt and I came back for dinner and loved every single thing we ordered. You can’t go wrong here, however, I would suggest going on a cooler evening. It’s tucked into the jungle side of the street and walls surround the seating area, so it got a little toasty in there when we went.
Hartwood | Sadly (for us) Hartwood is currently closed but will be reopening November 1st. If you go in the next few months, be sure to check it out. I was so looking forward to going again, but there’s always next time!
Origami Gelato | I don’t know how this is possible because I taste tested my way through Paris, but the pistachio gelato was the best I’ve ever had. And the cone was perfectly flaky.
The Real Coconut | A favorite healthy spot while on our trip. We came here for breakfast one morning and we didn’t want to leave. You must order the melon mint smoothie (going to be recreating this on the blog soon), the toast with jams, the huevos, and even the simple eggs/toast were delicious. We also came for dinner and LOVED the sweet potato (also need to master this at home, it was so creamy and rich), Yukon fries, and the spinach empanada. Towards the end of our trip I missed a nice glass of wine and to my delight, they had some Whispering Angel!
Ahau | Hands down best breakfast of the trip! We split the breakfast burrito with crispy potatoes, fresh fruit, and a green smoothie.
Breakfast at Ahau
Casa Jaguar, you minx.
Breakfast at The Real Coconut
Be Tulum… I can’t.
Ocumare Bar at Be Tulum
I’ll spare you our sunburns
Tulum at a glance through my trusty iPhone…